Science online, hermit crab hand-me-down edition

Got anything in a size 6? Photo by Vanessa Pike-Russell.
  • Gushing no more? No, the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico is not going to release a giant, world-killing methane bubble. Reality is bad enough. BP spent the week putting a new cap in place over the well, and … it seems to be working. Which still leaves an enormous cleanup to complete, and begs the question of why they weren’t prepared to do that 88 days ago. As always, Dr. M. at Deep Sea News is your one stop shop for oil spill news.
  • More kinds of herbivores = less plant damage. Organic farms support more evenly distributed communities of plant-eating critters, which turns out to be good for the plants. (The EEB & flow)
  • Of course, then they’re stuck with last year’s model. When they find an empty shell that’s too big for them, hermit crabs wait for a larger crab to come along and claim it, so they can occupy the cast-off shell. (
  • Any evidence of recent vuvuzela-induced selection? A mutant form of a single gene is associated with temperature-dependent hearing loss. (Code for Life)
  • How to get MSNBC to notice a paper about protein structures: Claim you’re answering an age-old philosophical riddle that you’re not, actually. (MSNBC)

Which came first, the silly scientific hype, or the flimsy excuse to run a Muppet video? Trick question; they’re the same thing.